Dan Maes and race

Edited by NoCo_Indy for clarity’s sake.

I’m on the e-mail list of Dan Maes, and one he sent today leaves me saying “wow” at several points. Some were good “wows” and others were ones of being shocked.

Here’s one that made me post:

I had not heard much about race in the campaigns up until that point.  I had certainly benefited from some Latinos warming up to me as a result of their affinity to the last name Maes.  Many recognized the name as Latino in Colorado and whether I was or not did not seem to matter to them.  That was enough for some.  But it all changed when the third party candidate got closer to jumping into the race.  I started to get phone calls (this was still when I was answering my own phone), from people asking about my ethnicity.  Hostile voices accused me of being Mexican, as if that were a crime in itself.  A couple of my supporters who were past supporters of the third party candidate specifically asked me what my ethnicity was before they tentatively supported me only to leave me when the new arrival came to the race.

There’s some interesting inside baseball here that I think is pertinent to the future of the Republican Party.

There’s so much here that I can hardly find where to start.

Here’s the full text of an e-mail I received tonight, because I was on the campaign e-mail list of Dan Maes.

“Race” In the Governor’s Race

Dear ,

I was sickened when I was leaving the state assembly last May when someone from the Hassan campaign, I do not remember if it was Ali himself or not, advised us that the word “Muslim” was written on the back of some of their yard signs placed outside.  

This came up as part of the conversation we were having as we exited the Budweiser Arena in the context of how much of a blow out the Treasurer’s race had been between Ali and JJ Amment (Walker Stapleton had skipped the assembly and won the primary and general election).  The large spread of high seventy’s by JJ to Ali’s low 20’s shocked the hall.  Ali had worked too hard to get that low of a vote.  Race had to play a part.

I had not heard much about race in the campaigns up until that point.  I had certainly benefited from some Latinos warming up to me as a result of their affinity to the last name Maes.  Many recognized the name as Latino in Colorado and whether I was or not did not seem to matter to them.  That was enough for some.  But it all changed when the third party candidate got closer to jumping into the race.  I started to get phone calls (this was still when I was answering my own phone), from people asking about my ethnicity.  Hostile voices accused me of being Mexican, as if that were a crime in itself.  A couple of my supporters who were past supporters of the third party candidate specifically asked me what my ethnicity was before they tentatively supported me only to leave me when the new arrival came to the race.  Racism had landed on the Maes campaign doorstep.  I often challenged the callers with it being a non-issue what my race was but most often informed them it was German/Dutch and that I had been raised in the upper Midwest.  On the other side of the coin were Latinos who contributed to my campaign specifically because they did not want the third party candidate anywhere near the governor’s office.  They had felt the sting of racism even though they were native Coloradans.  

As with many subjects, we had to decide if we were going to make it an issue.  We chose not to.  Racism has become a label used by progressives against us if we even look sideways at the President or whisper about illegal immigrants.  Like many over used adjectives it has almost lost its significance.  We can’t let that happen.  

It was my trip to Gettysburg this past week that drove home the incredible sacrifice our country went through to preserve the union and to rid it of slavery.  We can debate the cause of the Civil war but slavery and the treatment of one race as inferior to another can not be debated as a prime cause.  Illegal immigration is a modern day issue that is splitting our country and I for one still stand strong against it when perpetrated by any race or individual of any country.  Why race became an issue when the third party candidate entered the race is something I can not explain nor is an explanation necessary to my point.  

My first speech in front of 700 plus republicans was in March of 2010 when Michael Steele made his visit to Lone Tree.  I spoke of a new generation of republicans that will move the party forward to success.  That success will only come when race is not an issue but immigration is.  We seemed to have taken the life issue out of the spot light in 2010 without it losing its significance as an issue.  Except for one or two single issue life groups that cause more damage than good (a subject for another article) life was not in the spotlight this season at GOP events.   The sooner single issue illegal immigration fans learn the same lesson the better off the GOP will be.

Wow.

There’s good nuggets in here, but when I read about the causes of the CIvil War not having to do with slavery, my mind starts to wander.  

22 Community Comments, Facebook Comments

  1. NoCo_Indy says:

    I read the Civil War posting as thinking he was saying race was not a factor, but in rereading it, I find I’m mistaken. Sorry.

    On other counts, though, I’m still surprised at where he’s coming from. By calling out the immigration-only crowd on the issue of race, he could move the party in interesting directions.

    Of course, had he polled more than 11 percent in the general, he might have more clout to make that case.

  2. ProgressiveCowgirl says:

    Really, Dan?

  3. RedGreen says:

    He doesn’t even know how to spell Hasan or Ament’s names.

    But, seriously, you’re expecting coherent insight about anything from Dan Maes?

  4. Leonard Smalls says:

    Just like how tipping off his girlfriend to an investigation and getting fired for it somehow morphed into being “Serpico” in his mind.

    This guy has such a disconnect with reality it’s really impossible to tell what really happened.

  5. I don’t know why ya’ll are knocking it (in all seriousness)?

    I appreciate Maes’s compliments towards me, but more importantly, he’s bringing up a very important issue, especially when you consider that the GOP has gone from the Party of “Guest Worker Program” to the Party of “Repealing the 14th Amendment”

    Lastly – Maes WAS a major Party nominee for Governor – he’ll always have some credibility within the dialogue, as not many get to have that experience (and I’m sure he gained some wisdom from it – especially when you consider that the Conservative candidates in Colorado LOST by a landslide… anything to do with the Latino vote???)

    Overall – I recommend this diary and I think it deserves some front page love

    • redstateblues says:

      he’ll always have some credibility within the dialogue

      No.

    • Diogenesdemar says:

      but I tend to agree with you.  (It’s not the agreeing with you I hate — it is the agreeing that this is a worthwhile statement of opinion, and one that I would not have expected from Maes.)

      If you get past the grammar and misspellings (“glass houses” for me . . .), and if you can get beyond questioning the author’s sincerity, this is one of the more lucid statements Maes has ever issued, and the sentiments expressed are commendable.

    • ProgressiveCowgirl says:

      I appreciate the sentiments behind it. Maes just needs an editor with some PR experience. I get embarrassed on his behalf when I read this kind of thing.

      But I gotta say, like most politicians, Maes is much more likable when he’s not running for anything!

      Actually, he was likable when he was running, too, on a personal level. I ended up falling into a luncheon with him (not literally falling, but ending up there through a series of amusing events) and he was very affable. Kidding about his fear of UN bicycle agendas aside, he seems like a fine fellow and I wish him well, I just don’t wish to see him on any further ballots.

    • Arvadonian says:

      I don’t particularly care for Maes or his politics (actually that is putting it mildly, I detest his politics), but it is hard to disagree with his overall point here.

    • For the record, Ali didn’t lose because of racism. He lost because he was the youngest and least qualified candidate for treasurer. His lack of experience and maturity was so obvious that even voters who weren’t paying attention knew it.  I’m one of the few people who interviewed all three GOP treasurer candidates in depth and heard them all speak multiple times.

      Yes, Ali is as smart, if not smarter than the the other guys, but smarts and money can’t beat experience and credibility.

      Ali was smart enough to know when to quit after he lost at the assembly. I hope he’s smart enough to resist the temptation to revise history.

      Does Ali still plan to take a new run at politics in California or New Mexico now that he’s toast in Colorado?

  6. Pam Bennett says:

    First, very few voters care about a political race until the last couple of weeks, or when the ballot has been sitting on the kitchen table a couple of weeks. So it is not a surprise on the timing. Then, they will start e-mailing and calling to verify their prejudices. Funny sounding last name? Better check ’em out.

    All these years of Republican pandering to the Hispanic vote is paying off and Dan does not recognize it?  Spend enough time taking about sending brown skin people back to whence they came and they do not vote for you? How inconsiderate. And, it really does matter that many families have been here longer than Colorado has not been a part of Mexico.

    I am very sure hundreds of thousands of Hispanic people were looking forward to you as gov and a Republican House and Senate passing more and better Arizona legislation.  

    Race considerations?  Strange, it is like the light switch is being flicked up and down and only a little glow is showing up. Sort of like a short circuit.  Talk about race, actually the Southern Confederacy breaking from the Union to ensure the enslavement of black people ( which is now being celebrated for the 150 anniversary of the Civil War – just like secessionists did before) and then stating he wants to send all brown people back to Mexico (code words – illegal immigration) is sheer Republicanism.

    Dan, you were the head of the Republican Party in Colorado as their candidate for governor.  You ran on the platform. You lost on the platform.

  7. The realist says:

    I really don’t know what he is trying to say.  Maes was the Republican candidate for Governor – how can that not reflect poorly on the party?

  8. nancycronk says:

    I hope so. It’s as if this is brand new territory for them — interesting (and kind of painful) to watch. I really give kudos to Ali for getting them to finally look in the mirror!  

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